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Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Animal Welfare

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the Animal Welfare Act regulations for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 9, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2014-0108 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the Animal Welfare Act regulations, contact Dr. Barbara Kohn, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3751. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Animal Welfare.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0036.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA or Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to promulgate standards and other requirements governing the humane handling, housing, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the authority for enforcement of the AWA to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The regulations in 9 CFR parts 1 through 3 were promulgated under the AWA to ensure the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of regulated animals under the Act. The regulations in 9 CFR part 2 require documentation of specified information by dealers, research institutions, exhibitors, carriers (including foreign air carriers), and intermediate handlers. The regulations in 9 CFR part 2 also require that facilities that use animals for regulated purposes obtain a license or register with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Before being issued a USDA license, individuals are required to undergo prelicense inspections; once licensed, a licensee must periodically renew the license.

To help ensure compliance with the AWA regulations, APHIS performs unannounced inspections of regulated facilities. A significant component of the inspection process is review of records that must be established and maintained by regulated facilities. The information contained in these records is used by APHIS inspectors to ensure that dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers comply with the Act and regulations.

Facilities must make and maintain records that contain official identification for all dogs and cats and certification of those animals received from pounds, shelters, and private individuals. These records are used to ensure that stolen pets are not used for regulated activities. Dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities that acquire animals from nonlicensed persons are required to have the owners of the animals sign a certification statement verifying the owner's exemption from licensing under the Act. Records must also be maintained for animals other than dogs and cats when the animals are used for purposes regulated under the Act.

Research facilities must also make and maintain additional records for animals covered under the Act that are used for teaching, testing, and experimentation. This information is used by APHIS personnel to review the research facility's animal care and use program.

APHIS needs the reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in 9 CFR part 2 to enforce the Act and regulations. APHIS also uses the collected information to provide a mandatory annual report of animal welfare activities to Congress.

In addition to the above information collection activities approved under 0579-0036, APHIS is combining to this collection the burden from 0579-0361, Submission of Itineraries, and 0579-0392, Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions. Upon approval of this collection by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), APHIS will retire numbers 0579-0361 and 0579-0392.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.63 hours per response.

Respondents: Dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers; and persons exempt from licensing under the AWA.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 13,985.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 15.

Estimated annual number of responses: 216,171.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 136,364 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 31st day of December 2014.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2014-30929 Filed 1-5-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P